By Evelyn Maxey
Stakes were high for the Dreadnaughts heading into battle against the South Lyon East Cougars where a four-year spell of losing could be broken in a matter of hours.
Players masked their anxiety and, with pride they wore like jerseys, took the field.
It started with a bang: Dexter kicked off only for South Lyon East to fumble; the Dreadnaughts recovered at the 10-yard line. This play was made possible as junior defensive back Sean Callahan delivered a hit and junior linebacker Evan Chapell recovered the ball.
Coming down from the excitement seemed to be difficult as close to just one minute into the game, Dexter junior running back Joe Luallen scored a touchdown giving the home team a 6-0 lead.
With almost three minutes left in the first quarter, junior quarterback Luke Coogan threw an interception, handing the ball over to South Lyon East. However, the Cougars did not take advantage and headed into the second quarter not on the board yet.
In the second quarter, Dexter recovered two fumbles at approximately the 40-yard line thanks to junior linebacker Nathan Norris. The Dreads forced another turnover after a punt pinned South Lyon deep in its own territory. Chapell intercepted a pass and returned it to the 8-yard line.
Chapell, who was responsible the team’s success throughout the first quarter, revealed this interception was his “proudest moment.” Following the interception, Dexter’s Luallen ran into the end zone for a touchdown and the point after touchdown made it 13-0 Dreads.
South Lyon East finally got on the scoreboard, scoring a touchdown at the two-minute mark. At halftime, Dexter led 13-7.
It was clear as the third quarter played out that South Lyon East used halftime to regroup. The Cougars scored another touchdown, converted the PAT, and took a 14-13 lead.
Another four minutes were used wisely by South Lyon East, both on offense and defense, as the Cougars scored another seven points leaving Dexter in the dust. This proved to be the turning point of the game, as it was clear South Lyon East would refuse to give it up.
Just before the end of the third quarter, South Lyon East intercepted another pass, taking possession in Dexter territory. The Cougars would add another touchdown, taking a 28-13.
The intimidation Dexter used as a shield in the first half was now wielded by their opponent. South Lyon East owned the field in the fourth quarter scoring two more touchdowns and putting an exclamation point on a 42-13 victory.
As the clock was running down, Dexter’s spirits were still high on and off the field. The Dreads accepted the loss but continued to fight. Luke Coogan addressed Dexter’s attitude towards the impending loss: “We all knew, we just had to get it done”.
Unfortunately for the Dreads, this game was not the one to break the wretched losing streak that now stands at 35 games, but perhaps this game has prepared Dexter for the game that will.